550.E1 Russia/8: Telegram
The Ambassador in Italy (Child) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:45 p.m.]
58. Department’s No. 12 of May 16, 11 a.m. I have no doubt that there is misunderstanding between Barthou and Poincaré. I have received information on excellent authority that this afternoon Barthou was making explanations to Paris on demand and requesting that the following information be given to the American Government.
The second and third paragraphs of the procès-verbal from the inviting powers are intended to mean nothing more than a preliminary investigation by experts chosen by governments and not as an extension of the Genoa Conference. It is intended that the experts are not to have diplomatic or political status or authority to bind their governments. However, after the investigation and the retirement of those governments which do not care to go further, a committee may be appointed to exchange views with a Soviet commission. The French memorandum reported in my 50, May 14, 1 a.m., was drawn by Barrère, and he has expressed his opinion privately that the procès-verbal transmitted in my No. 54, May 15, 1  a.m., is an awkward effort to sugar-coat the French proposal for the Russians. He points out that there is no commitment by any government to consummate negotiations with the Soviet Government.